The Tigers have lost their last five series, and quite possibly none as depressing as the most recent sweep suffered at the hands of the Cleveland Indians over the weekend. We knew it was going to get ugly for the Tigers this year, and it appears as though we have arrived at the crossroads of despair and defeat.
As we stare down the road to be traveled we can see one thing: the length of it. This ride is not nearly over. While we wait to find out if this team fares any better against a National League opponent in the Pittsburgh Pirates this week, let’s use this off day to catch a breather and see what’s going on.
End of the “innocence”
This Chris McCosky article on Nick Castellanos for The Detroit News has sooooo much going on with it, I don’t know where to start. There are the opening paragraphs that state that Nick and the Tigers had an early conversation about an extension, but the two parties were so far apart — I would guess partly because Castellanos’ agent slightly overvalued his client in this new market, and partly because the Tigers have grown as tight as a drum when it comes to money — that they just decided it wasn’t going to happen. If at first you don’t succeed, I guess you just give up?
The article goes on to finger analytics as the driving force behind all this madness. Charts and graphs and no room for “intangibles.”
What you’re seeing as a result of this process, most likely, is a player who is more and more ready to depart as this wasteland of a season moves forward. It’s sad for everyone involved. The smart move here would be to extend Nick — as it always has been — but the only way that happens is if there is some sort of monumental shake-up on either side. That’s not going to happen, so we’re probably going to watch Castellanos play lackluster ball until he gets traded or signs a free agent deal in the offseason.
Either way, I think we will see him get to a new team and flourish, and there will be a collective wondering of why the Tigers let that guy go.
Yes, Bobby Wilson
Apparently in spring training, Ron Gardenhire breathed a sigh of relief when catcher Bobby Wilson decided to accept a minor league deal with the Tigers instead of going elsewhere, because he knew the team would need Wilson at some point. Well, here we are three months later, and Bobby is in Detroit. He will be spelling Grayson Greiner, who is currently on the injured list with a back injury. Wilson is bringing something different to the proverbial table here. Whereas Hicks and Greiner focused on scouting reports to prep for how they would call a game, Wilson is going to focus on his pitchers’ strengths instead of trying to pitch to a report. I see why Gardy likes him.
If you talk to Jordan Zimmermann, he’ll tell you: he’s ready to return to Detroit. After an outing where he gave up two home runs on the way to four total earned runs in 4 2⁄3 innings of work, he said he liked his stuff and felt he was ready to come back. Gardenhire wasn’t as excited, but prepare yourselves. Zimmermann is coming back. Soon.
Ron Gardenhire got himself thrown out of a game on Saturday and bench coach Steve Liddle had to take over. Through the course of the rest of the game, the Tigers did some dumb things, the hallmark of which was allowing Leonys Martin to steal home. Liddle referred to the Tigers allowing it to happen as “little league” in nature. Gardenhire was not pleased. He’s not a fan of communicating with his players via the papers, and that’s probably a sound strategy. According to the manager, there was plenty of blame to go around on that particular play. He said all the right manager things to say in the media. That’s nice, as long as he’s saying all the right manager things in the locker room too.